This ClassicCars.com Marketplace featured listing is a 1951 Mercury Woody Wagon for sale in Palm Springs, California. The surf might not be up out in that desert oasis, but there’s always good times cruising in a woody.
Generally speaking, wars are not a good thing. Loss of life and liberties are not to be taken lightly. World War II was devastating in countless ways. But, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Certainly, the space program was the most noticeable achievement stemming from that era. However, aside from Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, most of us don’t have our own spacecraft. On the other hand, those GIs returning from battle came back with a bag of tricks and skills that they let loose on what they had available, cars. The late forties and early fifties provided the right set of ingredients for the birth of the hot rod. This 1951 Mercury Woody Wagon is a fine example.
Coincidentally, and not unnoticed by those at the time, the Mercury Eight was the right canvas for this new form of art. Brothers George and Sam Barris elevated the Mercury Eight to almost mythical proportions with their ability to take the Merc and turn it into a lead sled. It didn’t take long for other custom car builder everywhere to jump on this bandwagon with their own versions of the ’49, ’50, and 1951 Mercury.
Hollywood also has a fondness for the Mercury Eight, as it can be found in such movies as Rebel Without A Cause, American Graffiti, Thunderbolt And Lightfoot, and of course in Grease.
The Mercury Eight was initially launched in 1940 and was Ford’s upscale brand to span the gap between the affordable Fords and the luxury Lincoln offerings. This also proved to be effective competition to GM’s product line. The Mercury Eight lasted three generations with the third beginning in 1949 and concluded with the ’51.
The 1951 Mercury Woody Wagon was one of five variants offered at the time. The body styles at the time were the coupe, Monterey coupe, convertible, sedan, and station wagon. The Woody had taken on a more unique and stylish character in 1949 with the elimination of the wood roof but retaining that feature on the sides, which persisted through the end of the model run in 1951. Perhaps the most unusual decisions by Mercury was making the wagon a two-door instead of the typical four-door. It’s far less practical yet far more attractive.
This particular 1951 Mercury Woody Wagon has been restored top to bottom, with the owner claiming all parts were individually plated or painted. The coral colored exterior hides the grey leather interior on the seats and headliner. The wood has been redone along with the paint. The new powertrain includes a Ford 351 Windsor V8, and a four-speed C4 automatic with overdrive. This also features A/C, power windows, and power steering. The brakes are now disc at each corner, which is welcomed, as the Mercury Eights ranged from 3,500-4,000 pounds in the final generation.
The 1951 Mercury Woody is highly regarded in terms of design both inside and out. There’s nothing like seeing a car in person, but the photos do provide credibility this being eye-catching. This ’51 definitely does justice to the original vision.
To view the listing on ClassicCars.com, click here.